Sunday, July 11, 2010

Shapes of a Good Friend

I like this friend of mine. Cause he shoots NOT for money. He shoots ONLY what he likes and what MOVES him. He is original. He is being himself. He is unlike some others I know who will constantly stay a step behind other leading photographers to say what they have said, write what they have wrote and shoot what they have shot. (though more than half the time they fail to even shoot close to their standards)

I am not against copying to learn, BUT we need to outgrow that sooner or later. These people never seemed to grow. I pray I am not like that.

There are those who always want to be PROs, to show the whole world they can be PROs, but not this friend of mine. His confidence lies within himself. He has absolutely NO NEED to prove any darn thing to anyone. He just shoot what he sees. And what he sees is beyond most PROs you can find.

There are those who attend a workshop or two, and almost straight after that, turn around and teach what they have learned from the real pioneers, just to prove that they are PROs, and not just PROs, but even qualified teachers in photography. What a joke! The real pioneers have at least more than 10 years of experience in the industry, and these guys, maybe at most 2-3 years?

That's why I have always been hesitant to teach. I ONLY teach what I practice, NOT what I have yet to achieve.

Seeing too many crappy works from too many self-claimed PROs make me wanna quit.

Seeing too many workshops advertised by too many teachers who do not walk the talk make me wanna quit.

Seeing too many newbies misled by all too many workshops make me feel hopeless about the future of photography.

To be honest, I often find real good photographers with good photographic vision who are absolutely NOT PROs, and they would never wanna become PROs. They absolutely DO NOT need to be addressed or regarded as PROs. I deeply wish to find MORE of them. I need such friends.

If you think deeper, the meaning of PRO is no longer like the good old film days, when only the trained dare to call themselves PROs. The meaning of PRO today has only one meaning: making money out of photography at least one weekend per month? No wonder we have so many PROs today, and you see them in offices from Mondays to Fridays. They use their bosses' computers to answer your enquiries.

Our expectations of good photography has reduced to the quantity of images received from a PRO instead of the quality of images. Never mind that many are dark and underexposed, or some are blurry with camera shake, as long as there are a few thousands of images, there are bound to have those that can pass. Never mind that there are 12 sequential shots of a subject, we don't mind playing "spot the difference" after all, even when they are badly composed. And everyone seem to receive a similar digital touched-up look to their wedding images, cause all use the same software. 

If this is where the world is heading in photography, I'd rather quit.

Oh wait... ... maybe I can still learn from this friend of mine and be like him.

How can a true artist be a good businessman? I have not met one.